Toe Deformities Treatment

How can they be treated?

Non-operative treatment: the aim is to accommodate the toe deformity in a shoe that fits comfortably. There are also a variety paddings, splints and special insoles that can be used.

Surgery: the aim is to permanently correct the shapes of the toes themselves so they can fit comfortably in shoe wear.

  • Early on these deformities are often very flexible / supple. In this situation a simple tendon transfer (transferring one of the tendons from the bottom of the toe to the top of the toe) can straighten the toe out.
  • Later on these deformities become more rigid or fixed and it may be necessary to realign or fuse the toe joints. This is generally a very successful technique that straightens the toe well while maintaining foot function.
  • These operations are fairly small procedures and only take approximately 30 minutes to be performed on a single toe. They can be undertaken as a day case under local anaesthetic block making the foot numb for six to twelve hours. You will be seen by an Anaesthetist and can be awake, sedated or have a general anaesthetic during surgery. It is possible to walk straight away after the operation with just a special shoe. There is no need for a cast or prolonged immobility with modern surgical techniques.

Mr. Al-Nammari undertakes the majority of his private operating at The Nuffield Hospital in Ipswich. Using the latest techniques in local anaesthetic blocks means that most people having surgery are comfortable enough to get home on the day of surgery should they so wish. For those who need to or just feel more comfortable spending the night in hospital after surgery this is of course possible. The choice of anaesthetic is based upon your own preferences and the opinion of the Consultant Anaesthetist who you will meet before any surgery. Many people prefer to be asleep during surgery and have the local anaesthetic block performed while asleep to control any post-operative pain.

When can I return to work after surgery?

This will depend on the type of work you do -

  • Sedentary jobs: Return to work after 2 weeks, if able to maintain foot elevated at level of waist, otherwise 4 weeks off.
  • Standing/walking jobs: Return after 6 weeks, but may be sooner depending on comfort and swelling.
  • Manual/labouring jobs: 8+ weeks, but may be sooner depending on comfort and swelling.

When can I drive after surgery?

The DVLA state that it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure they are fit and able to stay in control of their vehicle. A good guide is if you can stamp down hard with the foot comfortably and are able to perform an emergency stop then you may be ready to drive. For left sided surgery in an automatic car i.e. no clutch is required, driving is probably safe at 2 weeks after surgery. For right sided surgery or a manual car, driving is probably safe at 6 weeks after surgery, once in a normal shoe. If you are unsure please ask Mr. Al-Nammari. It remains your responsibility to drive safely and you should check with your vehicle insurer to confirm you are covered.